New eco-friendly car hire for Cumbria’s mainline train stations

Rail passengers heading to Cumbria from around the UK now have an easy, eco-friendly way to get around, thanks to new low carbon car hire at Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme railway stations.

With ultra-low CO2 emissions, the introduction of the three Toyota Yaris Hybrids as part of a wider car sharing scheme come thanks to a partnership between the ‘See More’ sustainable travel programme, Co-wheels car club, and Virgin Trains. The ‘pay as you drive’ vehicles enable visitors who join the car club to hop straight off a train and into the conveniently-placed vehicles for their onward journeys into the heart of the Lake District.

The cars’ arrival follows the success of two existing vehicles at Oxenholme and Windermere train stations (which are also now being upgraded to Toyota Yaris Hybrids). They have already proved popular with people visiting Cumbria on business, as well as holidaymakers travelling by rail. The majority of users come from outside the region, with 71% based outside the North West and 36% from the London area (Jan-July 2015).

Nicola Parker, Programme Manager for See More says, “Travelling by rail is a great way to reach Cumbria, but many visitors feel they need a car to get around once they’re here. These low carbon, ‘pay as you drive’ cars give train passengers more flexibility, particularly if they’re travelling longer distances and want an easier, more environmentally friendly way to travel deeper into the heart of this iconic region.”

Richard Falconer, Co-wheels Managing Director, says, “Co-wheels’ aim has always been to challenge perceptions of how people can travel and live a car-free lifestyle, without sacrificing practicality or adventure. The deployment of our new ultra-low emission hybrids allows people all over the country unimpeded access to the area, including the beautiful and remote Lake District landscape, whilst encouraging more sustainable transport choices both to and within Cumbria.

Simarjeet Kaur, Head of Responsible Business at Virgin Trains, says, “We care about the environment and are committed to reducing carbon emissions along the West Coast Mainline. This partnership is the latest step we’ve taken to help us continue our commitment and encourage our customers to think green. The low-carbon cars will enable customers to continue their onward journey with ease, whilst allowing them to see more of Cumbria.”

The low-carbon hybrid cars will also have roof mounted cycle carriers for two bicycles, so are ideal for cyclists arriving in Cumbria by train.

Visitors wanting to hire the cars can sign up online with Co-wheels ahead of their visit. They will then receive their own smartcard, which gives them direct access to their chosen car in the Co-wheels national fleet, including the vehicles at Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme and Windermere railway stations.

Co-wheels is offering a special membership rate for anyone keen to use the new cars in Cumbria. The offer means people can use the code CUMBRIADRIVE to join the club for a one-off discounted membership fee of £10, with an additional £5 free driving credit added to their account automatically.


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact: Heather Sewell, 01539 825002 / 07795 487003 /

There are five project strands within the See More Cumbria and the Lake District programme covering a wide range of activity, including enhanced visitor transport services, cycle route development, better information about travel options, comprehensive marketing and corridor travel planning activity. For travel information visit

1. Helping international visitors to use buses, trains and water transport, as well as walking, cycling and hiring low emissions vehicles will reduce the impact of their travel on the local environment and community, while making their trip to the area more enjoyable and relaxing.

2. More information about the National Park and the Authority’s work is available on their website

3. For further information on visiting the Lake District and other parts of Cumbria visit

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